This is Spinal Tap

Starring: Michael McKean, Christopher Guest Directed by: Rob Reiner

Most of the best rock shows I have seen over the years involved some element of theatrics. Iron Maiden, seen at Ozzfest in 2005 (where they headlined because Ozzy was unable to play that day), certainly tops the list with multiple backdrop changes, a giant animatronic goat-man rising up out of the set and the Eddie mascot staggering across the stage.

Though I love rock concerts, I've never been much for recordings of live shows. You're either there, or you aren't. The only concert-based film I ever bought was a used VHS copy of Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same. Even when I bought CDs that had special concert footage features, I never watched them.

Perhaps that explains why I'd never seen This Is Spın̈al Tap. But probably it's because if you are familiar with the 'mythology' of rock culture and know what an amplifier looks like, you don't need to watch the movie to get the jokes.

That said, this movie is a very enjoyable nugget of pop culture and I'm a little sad I waited so long to see it. In addition to little digs at the history of rock such as silly-sweet 50s rock, fluffy folk rock of the 60s and the leather and glitter-encrusted glam metal era, tons of fun cameos are sprinkled throughout the film (like Ed Begley, Jr. as the band's first drummer and Billy Crystal as a mime).


· you take your heavy metal band very seriously

· you've never been – or have no desire to go – to a rock show

· you are still angry with Yoko Ono for breaking up The Beatles

· heavy innuendo makes you uncomfortable

Don't put it in the queue.

But if:

· you like mockumentaries

· you like heavy metal for the sheer theatrics

· you like heavy metal for the same reasons you like pro wrestling (semi-shirtless men in costumes with tight spandex pants)

· you find humor in people taking themselves very seriously when they probably shouldn't

· you like to turn it up to eleven

Put it in the queue!

Written by Jennifer Venson